Thursday, October 6, 2011

Changing the World, One Jobs at a Time

The Apple logo, under Steve Jobs' leadership, became an American classic.

Here I sit, writing with my iMac desktop computer, a marvel of modern invention. Within arm’s reach rests my first-generation iPad, a slender little device that makes laptop computers seem passé. I think back to the mid-80’s and my first computer, a Macintosh 512k (crude by today’s standards) that instantaneously weaned me from electric typewriters.

I mention these because the man chiefly responsible for each, Steve Jobs, died yesterday at the age of 56.

Although I never met the iconic co-founder of Apple Computers, I did write him a note in 2010. Years before I’d been coerced into switching from a Mac to a PC, so I wanted to tell Jobs how thrilled I was returning “home” to the world of Macintosh.

The iPad has brought "tablet"
computers into the mainstream.
Today his passing is mourned, his many achievements celebrated. Numerous people shared in the work, but much credit for the ever-evolving Macs, iBooks, iPads, iPods, iPhones, iTunes, Apps, and various innovative operating systems has deservedly gone to Jobs.

He was, without a doubt, a world-changer. This architect of cutting-edge technology helped to revolutionize the way we work, communicate – and live.

One of the questions facing Apple today is how the company will fare – particularly long-term – without Jobs’ heart and genius. He resigned from the company in August, but now his departure is final. Who – if anyone – will succeed him as the dreamer, envisioning the next wonders to turn life as we know it upside-down?

Reflecting on this late corporate and societal giant, I can’t help thinking of a world-changer in another realm. About 2,000 years ago Jesus Christ sparked a revolution of his own, a spiritual one. When He left this earth, many also wondered who would carry on His work; who would safeguard and perpetuate His legacy of love, grace and redemption.

Unlike Jobs, Jesus departed with a fail-proof plan in place. He had a small, growing band of followers. But more than that, He left behind a part of Himself. Before His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus told His disciples, “It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you…. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:7,13).

The folks at Apple would love it if somehow Jobs’ spirit, vision and zeal could have stayed behind. Now they must hope someone steps into that void. But with Jesus, He didn’t just leave a cadre of admirers, sharers in a noble cause. He left His own Spirit, not only to guide His followers but also to empower them to carry on the work He had begun.

“…I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20). In that handful of words lies the secret to the so-called “Christian life,” the key for becoming – in a very different sense than Steve Jobs – world-changers.


Jim Lange said...
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Jim Lange said...

Great comments Bob--I really appreciate your insights! Blessings to you and Go Bucks!